A Southern California man might lose his hand as a result of a rattlesnake bite after he had placed the venomous reptile around his neck to pose for a photo.
Alex Gomez, 36, is also said by his mother to be embarrassed by the incident, which occurred in the community of Lake Elsinore.
"I'm shocked that he would have that thing around his neck," Deborah Gomez told KCAL 9. "It could've bit his neck, and that would have been it. That's just being a fool."
So rattlesnakes, along with sharks, bears and even caged lions and tigers in zoos, can be added to the list of wild and unpredictable animals that should not be taken lightly by the growing legion of selfie fanatics. (Last fall, so many people were trying to get close to bears for selfies that the U.S. Forest Service was compelled to issue a warning.)
The rattlesnake Gomez chose as his photo subject was rattling loudly as a warning before being captured, his nephew Ronnie said.
After Gomez was bitten, the pain became excruciating and his arm and hand began to swell. A neighbor telephoned 911 and Gomez, a father of three, was rushed to a nearby hospital, where he was treated with anti-venom and told he could lose the hand.
His mother was so angry with her son's foolishness that she refused to stay mum on the matter.
She explained to KCAL 9: "I told him the news people had been calling, and he said 'Mom, you better not,' and I said I'm going to. I'm going to teach him a real good lesson when he gets home. No mercy for him."
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